- Holiday ad campaigns that begin in October have a 7% increase in ad impressions, a 12% drop in cost-per-click (CPC) and a 20% decrease in CPM (cost per thousand impressions) compared to other months in the holiday season, according to a new study by AdRoll shared with Marketing Dive.
- Brands saw a 9% increase in click-through rates (CTR) in November and a 15% boost in December. From July 1 to Dec. 25, mobile comprised 50% of purchases, followed by desktop at 39% and tablets at 11%.
- Mobile last year carried a 63% cheaper CPC versus desktop, AdRoll found. Marketers additionally saw a 400% increase in CTR on Instagram and a 54% increase on Facebook compared to their display campaigns, making them key platforms for engaging mobile shoppers.
The AdRoll research makes a strong case as to why marketers should think about kicking their holiday marketing efforts off well before Black Friday, as earlier campaigns see higher impressions and lower CPC and CPMs. Marketers that wait until after Thanksgiving might be missing out on key opportunities, as 40% of consumers start their holiday shopping before November.
Marketers also need to tailor the timing and channels of their campaigns based on which consumer segments they're trying to reach, however. More than one-third of Gen Zers, who have increasing purchasing power, report they don't start holiday shopping until after Black Friday, according to a 2017 study by Yes Lifecycle Marketing. Fifteen percent of the age group waits until after Dec. 15. By comparison, 30% of millennials shop for gifts year-round, and most Gen X and baby boomers do most of their holiday shopping between September to November.
The newer AdRoll research additionally emphasizes consumers' increasing reliance on mobile and social shopping across the board, even while they're visiting a physical store. Last year, 71.6% of consumers did their holiday shopping via mobile while at home or while traveling, and 60.1% used their smartphones while in-store, per iVend Retail’s 2018 Global Path to Purchase survey.
During last year's holiday shopping season, mobile was predicted to make up 34% of online holiday spend, an increase over 30% in 2016, according to Adobe Analytics data.